First World War - medical services

About this guide

This guide is designed for researchers wanting to locate information on those who either served in the First World War Medical Services or were casualties of the War and used its medical services. It covers only a portion of material that is available. For a broader view of the War, see our First World War research guide.

Each section of this guide includes a brief description of the topic along with subject headings that you can use to find related material in the collections. You are pointed to material from both published and unpublished sources and any relevant photographic material is also identified.

New Zealand nurses and medical officers at the New Zealand Stationary Hospital, Wisques, France. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918\. Ref: 1/2-013478-G
New Zealand nurses and medical officers at the New Zealand Stationary Hospital, Wisques, France. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-013478-G

For those who served in the War, the following categories are covered:

You can also use this guide if you have a relative who was a casualty of the War and used its medical services such as Field, Stationary, Convalescent hospitals and Hospital ships.

Background and history:

At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, New Zealand had a small military medical service. It had been formed as a result of the Boer war, 1899-1902 and the Army Territorial Medical Services. The New Zealand Medical Corps (NZMC) was established in May 1908 to provide a reserve of medical personnel should one be required in the event of a war. After the declaration of war in August 1914, The New Zealand government sent a small contingent of medical staff to Samoa to take over the hospital at Apia. This was composed of four medical officers, two dental surgeons, 67 non-commissioned officers and seven nurses.

As the war progressed and the number of casualties increased, it became apparent that more medical personnel were required to treat them. James Allen, Minister of Defence, offered to send medical personnel to a stationery hospital in Egypt, including eight officers and 50 nurses. New Zealand medical personnel went on to serve in Samoa, Egypt, Palestine, Gallipoli, France, Belgium, Serbia and Great Britain.

Getting started

Begin your search on this page by entering into the search box the name of the person, subject or place that you are interested in finding out more about. If you have too many results you can narrow your search using the left-hand column, filtering by type, date, etc. to receive results in only Newspapers from 1910s, for example.

If you do not find personal information under a given name, search further afield such as the name of the Corps or unit the person was attached to.

To find First World War diaries and letters which have been digitised and are available online use the search term: WW100 digitisation project.

Subject headings:

World War 1914-1918- Medical Care

World War 1914-1918- Military Personnel, New Zealand

Unpublished resources:

Tiaki is the Alexander Turnbull Library’s catalogue of unpublished collections. It includes material from the following collections: Cartography (maps), Drawings Painting and Prints, Ephemera, Manuscripts and Archives (diaries and letters), Oral History and the Photographic Archive (photographs and photograph albums). Some items, such as oral histories may require permission to be listened to or will require permission for public use. With some manuscripts you may be requested to use a surrogate copy instead of the original item.

You may search for items on the catalogue, however to order items to view, you will need to register as a reader.

Published Sources:

New Zealand Expeditionary Force record of personal services during the war of officers, nurses, and first-class warrant officers, and other facts relating to the N.Z.E.F. : unofficial but based on official records compiled by John Studholme. (Swanbourne, Perth, W.A. : J. Burridge, 1928, revised 1986)

The New Zealand medical service in the Great War, 1914-1918: based on official documents, by A.D. Carbery. (Auckland [N.Z.]: Whitcombe & Tombs, 1924.) Digital version available here.

Nominal rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary forces by New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (Wellington [N.Z.]: Govt. Printer, 1917-1919)

Photofiles:

These are prints of photographs only available onsite in the General Reading Room. The photographs include images of nurses, a French hospital at Bou-bete-Sur-mer, hospitals and a hospital train. These are filed under the following numbers and subjects:

  • 350 World War 1 – Hospitals
  • 350 World War 1 – Hospitals Station, NZ Stationary
  • 350 World War 1 – Hospitals – Ship
  • 610 Nurses and Nursing
  • 614 Public Health Ambulances

Army doctors, surgeons, dentists

Soldier having new dentures fitted during World War I. Nielles, France. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association: New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918\. Ref: 1/2-012973-G
Soldier having new dentures fitted during World War I. Nielles, France. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association: New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-012973-G

The New Zealand Medical Corps was formed in 1908 to provide a reserve of medical personnel should one be required in the event of war. However, after the declaration of war in August 1914, it was unprepared as it had no permanent military medical staff. It did have non-commissioned officer instructors. These officers were territorials, a small number of whom had war experience or studied military medical science. At the outbreak of war, the New Zealand Government sent a small contingent of medical personnel composed of 4 medical officers, two dental surgeons, sixty seven non-commissioned officers and men to take over the hospital at Apia.

Subject headings:

World war-1914-1918- Medical care

World war 1914-1918-medical corps

Published sources:

  • The first fifty years: a commentary on the development of the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps from its inception in 1908, produced by the Medical Section, Army Headquarters.; Wellington N.Z. : Army Headquarters, Medical Section, 1958
  • RNZAMC 75yrs of history, 1908-1983 compiled by K.R. Treanor. (N.Z.: Royal N.Z. Army Medical Corps,) 1983. First published 1979, rev. 1982, 1983
  • A short history of the Royal Army Medical Corps, 1660 to 1918 and, The New Zealand Medical Corps, 1845 to 1945 / by C.H. Kidman. Wellington, N.Z.: [Ministry of Defence], 1972
  • Standing orders for the New Zealand Medical Corps, 1916. by New Zealand Army. Medical Corps. New Zealand. Army., Wellington N.Z. : Govt. Printer, 1916
  • Regulations for the New Zealand medical services, 1916. by New Zealand Army. Medical Corps. New Zealand. Army, Wellington N.Z. : Govt. Printer, 1916
  • Surgery on trestles: a saga of suffering and triumph / R. Campbell Begg.( Norwich : Jarrold), c1967
  • A surgeon in khaki: through France and Flanders in World War I by Arthur Anderson Martin, (London: Arnold, 1915) also republished (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, c. 2011)
  • New Zealand Medical Journal
  • New Zealand Doctor

Unpublished sources: Manuscripts, diaries and letters

A number of diaries and journals written during the First World War have been digitised and can be found by searching on the term: WW100 digitisation project.

Martin, Arthur Anderson, 1877-1916: Papers MS-Group-0400 -- Martin served in the Royal Army Medical Corps 1914-1915 and wrote A surgeon in khaki following those experiences. He returned to the front in 1916 as a Major in the NZ Medical Corps.

Army nurses

Group portrait of the first nurses to leave for World War I. The steps of the General Assembly Library, Wellington, New Zealand. The Press (Newspaper): Negatives. Ref: 1/1-008879-G
Group portrait of the first nurses to leave for World War I. The steps of the General Assembly Library, Wellington, New Zealand. The Press (Newspaper): Negatives. Ref: 1/1-008879-G

After the declaration of war in August 1914, seven New Zealand Army nurses sailed to Samoa with the New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force to nurse in the hospital at Apia. In January 1915, the New Zealand Army Nursing Service was formed. On 1st April, 1915, 20 Nurses sailed to Egypt. Then in July a further 80 nurses sailed on the hospital ship SS Maheno.

Subject headings:

Military nursing – New Zealand

Nurses

Royal New Zealand Nursing corps

New Zealand Army Nursing Service

Published sources:

  • My humorous memories of France by a returned nurse by R Gordon, (Auckland [N.Z.]: Morton, Johnson & Co., [1918?])
  • New Zealand servicewomen, World War One / compiled and indexed by M.J. Kelly. Auckland N.Z.: M.J. Kelly, 1992
  • 100 years New Zealand military nursing: New Zealand Army nursing service: Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps, 1915-2015 by Sherayl McNabb. (Hawke's Bay, New Zealand: Sherayl McNabb, [2015])
  • A nurse remembers: the life story of L. Ida G. Willis, O.B.E., A.R.R.C., E.D. (Willis, L. Ida G (lizabeth Ida Grace) 1881-1968
  • Nursing in peace and war by Edna Pengelly (Wellington [N.Z.] : Printed by H. Tombs, 1956
  • Official history of the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps by M. W. Wilson, and C Marquand. [Wellington, N.Z.: Ministry of Defence, 1978]
  • The other Anzacs: nurses at war, 1914-1918 by Peter Rees (Crows Nest, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 2008)
  • A unique nursing group: New Zealand Army nurse anaesthetists of WW1 by [R.E. Rawstron]. (Christchurch [N.Z.]: Rawstron Publishing Co., 2005)
  • Kai tiaki: The Journal of the Nurses of New Zealand. (Wellington, N.Z. : Watkins, Tyer and Tolan, [1908-1929]) This is useful beyond the war years August 1914- November 1918. Of particular interest is the section News from our nurses abroad. Access is through the Index. There is also an electronic edition available on Papers Past.

Papers Past:

Articles appeared in the newspapers of the day reporting on the departure of nurses and their activities while away. For example “Au Revoir Nurses for the Front”, published in the Evening post, 8 July 1915, p. 8, reported on the official government farewell of eighty nurses sailing on the hospital ship SS Maheno. Letters sent home giving accounts of the nurses activities were published in newspapers, such as “With the Army Nursing Service a strenuous life” by Sister Cherry which was published on page 4 of the Poverty Bay Herald, 1 October 1915.

Unpublished photographs:

Elizabeth Porteous album of photographs and postcards [ca 1913-1919]; Ref: PA1-o-1752 and PA1-o-1753. The album, probably compiled by New Zealand military nurse Elizabeth Porteous, relates to nursing work and travels during World War I. Elizabeth Porteous of the NZANZ (New Zealand Army Nursing Service) was awarded the ARRC (Associate Royal Red Cross) medal.

Photographs of NZEF in Samoa, Belgium and Egypt taken by Ida Grace Willis (1881-1968). Ref: PAColl-1682.

Manuscripts, diaries and letters:

Autograph book of Matron Evelyn (Eva) Gertrude Brooke (1879-1962), Ref: MSX-9348. Entries date from her time as a nursing sister at Wellington Hospital and to her service as a military nurse during World War I in Samoa and on board New Zealand Hospital Ship SS Maheno (1915-1916).

Biographical notes on Sister May Chalmer, by Laura McDuff, fl 2004; Ref: MS-Papers-8058. Booklet of biographical notes compiled by Laura McDuff on Sister May Chalmer who served with the New Zealand Army Nursing Service in World War One. Laura McDuff describes Chalmer's nursing career before and after the war.

Scrapbook and papers by Ida Grace Willis (1881-1968); Ref: MS-Papers-2023. Ida Willis, OBE, served as nurse in World War I.

New Zealand military nurses also joined or enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service and British Military Nurses, Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service.

British Military Nurses on Scarletfinders UK"

National Archives has a guide: British Army nurses’ service records 1914-1918

Researching First World War nurses in Australian military service guide

Stretcher bearers

Stretcher bearers at work in Ploegsteert Wood, Belgium, World War I. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association:New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918\. Ref: 1/2-012915-G
Stretcher bearers at work in Ploegsteert Wood, Belgium, World War I. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association:New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-012915-G

During a battle, often the first on the scene were stretcher bearers, who would do a quick assessment and administer basic first aid before putting the casualty on a stretcher and taking them to nearby first-aid posts and then on to medical clearing stations for doctors to assess and treat or send to hospital.

Subject headings:

Stretcher Bearers

World War, 1914-1918-Medical care

World War, 1914-1918- Casualties

Unpublished sources: Manuscripts, diaries and letters

Letter book 4 by Randolph Norman Gray (1891-1936); Ref: MSX-9370

This is a digital copy of a letter book by Randolph Gray. It describes duty as a wagon orderly in Egypt, time spent in France serving as an orderly and stretcher bearer, including detailed first-hand accounts of action on the front.

Published sources:

Khaki angels: Kiwi stretcher-bearers in the first and second world wars by Brendan O'Carroll (Wellington, N.Z.: Ngaio Press, c2009)

Ambulance

A New Zealand Field Ambulance stationed near Bus-les-Artois, France.  World War I. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918\. Ref: 1/2-013188-G
A New Zealand Field Ambulance stationed near Bus-les-Artois, France. World War I. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-013188-G

Field Ambulance

A Field Ambulance is a front line medical unit composed of a fully equipped tented hospital with complete medical services such as an operating surgery, dispensary, hospital wards accommodation. It could be easily moved and followed the front line.

For background reading on this topic see the NZ History.

The New Zealand Field Ambulance Corps included the following:

  • No. 1 N.Z. Field Ambulance attached to N.Z. 1st N.Z. Infantry Brigade
  • No. 2 N.Z. Field Ambulance attached to N.Z. 2nd N.Z. Infantry Brigade
  • No. 3 N.Z. Field Ambulance attached to N.Z. 3rd N.Z. Rifles Brigade
  • No. 4 N.Z. Field Ambulance

Subject headings:

Field Ambulance

New Zealand Army NZEF Field Ambulance

Unpublished resources: Manuscripts, diaries and letters

Pryor, David Clarence, b 1894: World War One diary; Ref: MSX-8045. Diary covers the period 9 Oct 1916 to 7 Jun 1917 while he was serving as Private in the No.2 Field Ambulance on the Western Front. The diary contains an account of his daily activities.

The Motor Transport Section at Hornchurch Convalescent Hospital, England. World War I. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association: New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918\. Ref: 1/2-013953-G
The Motor Transport Section at Hornchurch Convalescent Hospital, England. World War I. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association: New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-013953-G

Ambulance transport

Ambulances used to transport the sick and wounded were both motorised and horse drawn wagons.

Subject headings:

Ambulances

World War, 1914-1918 - Transportation

Unpublished resources:

Bell, Beatrice Enid, 1888-1977: Papers, 1917-1975. [Collection] Diary MS-Group-1840. Diary kept by Enid bell while serving as an ambulance driver in France 1917.

Hospitals

Forest Park, the New Zealand auxiliary hospital in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, England. World War I. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association: New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918\. Ref: 1/2-014142-G
Forest Park, the New Zealand auxiliary hospital in Brockenhurst, Hampshire, England. World War I. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association: New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-014142-G

There were a number of different types of hospitals. These ranged from Field, Stationary, and Convalescent hospitals as well as Hospital ships.

Casualties were initially treated at field hospitals, (known as field ambulance and discussed previously) which were close to the site of battle, evacuated by either an ambulance, train or hospital ship to a Stationary hospital for further treatment; this was followed by a Convalescent hospital to recuperate before either returning to battle or being sent back home to New Zealand.

Hospitals for New Zealand military were:

  • No 1 General Hospital, Brockenhurst
  • No. 2 General Hospital, Walton-on-Thames
  • No. 3 General Hospital, Codford
  • NZ Hospital at Mount Felix, (Walton-on-Thames)
  • Lady Godley’s Convalescent Homes at Zeitoun, Alexandria, and Egypt
  • NZ Convalescent Section Epsom
  • NZ Convalescent Hospital, Hornchurch
  • NZ Officer Convalescent Home, Brighton
  • NZ Nurses Convalescent Home, Brighton
  • NZ Convalescent Home, Heliopolis, Egypt
  • NZ Stationary Hospital, Wisques, France

Subject headings:

World War, 1914-1918- Hospitals

World War, 1914-1918- Hospitals- Egypt

Military Hospitals – England

Military Hospitals- New Zealand

Published sources:

  • Hornchurch and the New Zealand connection: the story of the New Zealand convalescent hospital in Hornchurch during the First World War by B. Mannox ([London]: Havering Library Service, 1993)
  • Hornchurch during the Great War: an illustrated account of local activities and experiences by Charles Thomas Perfect (Colchester: Benham and Company, 1920)

Unpublished sources: Manuscripts, diaries and letters

MacKisack, Jasper Willis, 1887-1967: World War I diary; MS-papers-9188. Jasper was a patient at the Number 32 Stationary Hospital, 4th London General Hospital, Number One New Zealand General Hospital, Brockenhurst, and a patient aboard the hospital ship SS Marama.

Hospital ships

Taylor, Charles, fl 1981\. [Postcard]. New Zealand hospital ship
Taylor, Charles, fl 1981. [Postcard]. New Zealand hospital ship "Maheno", 5282 tons. [ca 1915]. Ref: Eph-B-POSTCARD-vol-4-041

Hospital ships transported wounded, sick and injured back to New Zealand delivering care throughout the repatriation journey home.

New Zealand hospital ships included:

  • SS Maheno first sailing, 10 July 1915, last sailing 14 December 1918
  • SS Marama, first sailing 4 December, 1915 last sailing 28 Feburary, 1919
  • SS Marquette, a troop ship which was torpedoed off the coast of Greece while carrying New Zealand Nurses from the No. 1 New Zealand Stationary Hospital based in Egypt

Unpublished sources: Oral histories

  • New Zealand Nursing Education and Research Foundation oral history project
  • Interview with Amy Copeland OHInt-0014/040
  • Interview with Emily Collingwood, tape one, OHC-000190
  • Recording of letters of Charlotte Le Gallais, OHInt-0014/094

(NB Oral histories may be restricted and require the permission of the donor to access)

Published sources:

  • Cloud over Marquette: the epic story of those who sailed in the ill-fated troopship Marquette: the tragedy-- the aftermath by John Meredith Smith ([Auckland, N.Z.]: J.M. Smith, c1990)
  • The white ships New Zealand's First World War hospital ships by Gavin McLean (Wellington, New Zealand : New Zealand Ship & Marine Society (Inc), 2013)
  • The Maheno and the Marama and the White Fleet : New Zealand hospital ships, World War One by John Murr (Auckland, N.Z. : Postal History Society of New Zealand, c1999)
  • The New Zealand hospital ship Maheno : the first voyage July 1915 to January 1916 compiled by the Earl of Liverpool (Auckland, N.Z. : Whitcombe and Tombs, 1916)
  • Standing orders for H.M.N.Z. Hospital Ships : no. 1, s.s. Maheno, no. 2, s.s. Marama by Alfred W. Robin. (Wellington N.Z. : Govt. Printer) 1916
  • The voyages of His Majesty's New Zealand hospital ships Marama and Maheno compiled by the Earl of Liverpool (Auckland, N.Z. : Whitcombe and Tombs, 1917-1919.) Continues v. 1 which has the title: The New Zealand hospital ship Maheno. 1916
  • The war on hospital ships, 1914-1918, by Stephen McGreal. (Barnsley : Pen & Sword Maritime, 2008)

Uniforms and insignia

Studio upper torso portrait of an unidentified man dressed in a Medical Corps army uniform, showing the Red Cross badge on his left upper arm, with two badges on the lapels of his jacket, with a pin on his hat, possibly Christchurch district. Maclay, Adam Henry Pearson, 1873-1955, Negatives. Ref: 1/2-163590-G
Studio upper torso portrait of an unidentified man dressed in a Medical Corps army uniform, showing the Red Cross badge on his left upper arm, with two badges on the lapels of his jacket, with a pin on his hat, possibly Christchurch district. Maclay, Adam Henry Pearson, 1873-1955. Negatives. Ref: 1/2-163590-G

Members of the New Zealand Army Medical corps can be identified by the Red Cross badge; hat and collar badges of a snake surrounded by a fern leaf, topped by a crown, with the initials RAMC underneath. Later badges have the initials RNZMC.

Subject headings:

Military Uniforms

Nurses - Clothing

The matron and sisters of the New Zealand Stationary Hospital, Wisques, France. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918\. Ref: 1/2-013473-G
The matron and sisters of the New Zealand Stationary Hospital, Wisques, France. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-013473-G

Papers Past:

Descriptions of nurse’s uniforms can be found in a number of newspapers. The Waimate Daily Advertiser 23 March 1915, p. 4 reports that uniforms the Government has selected for nurses going to England “is of dark grey, piped with red’ regulation nurses bonnets, for a change grey American sailors hats, long tweed over coats, a turn over collar of red, with straps on the shoulders and for outside wear in warmer weather little red capes".

The Evening Post 8 April 1915, p.3 in 'Nurses for the Front' reports that “The nurses wore their uniforms of grey with red collars and piping on the overcoats and a row of brass buttons down the front of the upper garment, the red and grey shoulder straps adding a military touch”.

Nursing Badges:

The Minister of Defence invited the public to design the badges for nurses going to the front. The badges were awarded to nurses at a government reception in July 1915 and were described as being of “very neat design, being of metal, and containing a red cross in the centre and a fern leaf on the outside. On top were the letters N.Z.A.S.N (New Zealand Army Nursing Service). Evening Post, 8 July 1915. p. 8.

Medal Awarded Specifically to NZ Army Nursing Service:

Nurses with the letters A.R.R.C or R.R.C after their names will have been awarded the following medals:

Bar to Royal Red Cross (R.R.C. and Bar); Royal Red Cross 1st Class (R.R.C.); Royal Red Cross 2st Class; (A. R.R.C.) Associate Royal Red Cross

Casualties and casualty lists

Individual medical details can be found on the personnel file however other sources include newspapers on Papers Past. Search under either the ‘Sick and Wounded Latest hospital Report’, ‘Casualty Lists column’ or ‘Roll of Honour’.

For example, “Sick and Wounded Latest hospital Report” Evening Post, 8 July 1916, p. 8 details given are: Name and place of hospital, battalion, patient name, number and rank, type of injury or sickness, state of health.

Subject headings:

Casualties

Unpublished resources: Oral history

Interview with Erle Sherwood Crawford, OH-006/19, World War I Oral History Archive

Invalid World War I soldiers. Possibly outside Oatlands Park Hospital, Surrey.  Crown Studios Ltd :Negatives and prints. Ref: 1/2-203685-F
Invalid World War I soldiers. Possibly outside Oatlands Park Hospital, Surrey. Crown Studios Ltd :Negatives and prints. Ref: 1/2-203685-F

Published sources:

  • Alphabetical list of casualties in order of units, from Aug. 15th, 1914 to Aug. 14th, 1915 by New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force; (Wellington, N.Z.: New Zealand Expeditionary Force), 1915
  • List of casualties in order of units (together with alphabetical index). Book II, reported from 15th August to 14th November, 1915 : also including a summary of all casualties, in their respective units, to 14th November, 1915 : together with an alphabetical index of Book I, with additions and corrections by New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force (Wellington, N.Z. : New Zealand Expeditionary Force), 1916
  • List of casualties and a summary of casualties in order of units (together with alphabetical index). Book III, reported from 15th November, 1915 to 14th February, 1916 : also including a complete summary of all casualties, in their respective units, up to and including 14th February, 1916 by New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force ( Wellington, N.Z. : New Zealand Expeditionary Force) 1916
  • There are fourteen books in this series ranging from August 1914 to January 1919. The set has also been microfiched and can be found as: New Zealand Expeditionary Force casualties, WWI. Books I to XIV, 15 Aug. 1914 to 6 Jan. 1919 by New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force.; Auckland, N.Z.: BAB Microfilming; 16 microfiches

The family history resource Ancestry includes New Zealand Army WWI Casualty lists, 1914-1918 under ‘Military’, information recorded in this index includes:

  • Surname
  • Rank
  • Army number
  • Casualty type
  • Date reported
  • Casualty list number
  • Unit name
  • Force

New Zealand veterinary corps

World War I veterinarians bandaging a horse's eye, Louvencourt, France. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918\. Ref: 1/2-013211-G
World War I veterinarians bandaging a horse's eye, Louvencourt, France. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-013211-G

Veterinarians were required to treat the horses that accompanied the mounted units. They also treated camels and donkeys. The New Zealand Veterinary Corps was part of the New Zealand Division during the First World War.

NZ Section No.4 Veterinary Hospital, Calais

No.1 NZ Mobile Veterinary Section, Egypt

Subject headings:

Army NZEF New Zealand Veterinary Corps

Army New Zealand Veterinary Corps

Veterinary medicine

Veterinarians

War horses

Unpublished sources: Manuscripts, diaries and letters

New Zealand Veterinary Corps - Commendations (NZVA Archive 14-15) part of MS-Group-0907. New Zealand Veterinary Association: Records. [ca 1923-1997]

MacKenzie, Allan Alexander Penman, fl 1890s-1925: New Zealand Veterinary Corps, Featherston Military Camp PA7-49-17 A group photographs of the New Zealand Veterinary corps taken outdoors at the Featherston Military Camp in 1916

Papers Past:

There is very little published information on the New Zealand Veterinary Corps. Newspapers of the day published images and articles, including a photograph of “Otago section of the Blue Cross Ambulance (N.Z. Veterinary Corps) at Zeitoun Camp, Egypt” published in the Otago Witness, 22 December, 1915, p. 36 (Supplement), and articles such as N.Z. Veterinary Corps “No better work has been done” published in the Evening Post, 24 April 1919, p. 7, which describes the war work done by the New Zealand Veterinary Corps.

Archway:

Search terms to use on Archives New Zealand's Archway catalogue are:

First World War Veterinary

New Zealand Veterinary Corps

New Zealand Section Veterinary Hospital (provides the history of the Veterinary hospital)

New Zealand Section, Number 4 Veterinary Hospital (which will provide access to the War Diaries of the hospital from 1916-1919)

New Zealand veterinary corps

World War I veterinarians bandaging a horse's eye, Louvencourt, France. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918\. Ref: 1/2-013211-G
World War I veterinarians bandaging a horse's eye, Louvencourt, France. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-013211-G

Veterinarians were required to treat the horses that accompanied the mounted units. They also treated camels and donkeys. The New Zealand Veterinary Corps was part of the New Zealand Division during the First World War.

NZ Section No.4 Veterinary Hospital, Calais

No.1 NZ Mobile Veterinary Section, Egypt

Subject headings:

Army NZEF New Zealand Veterinary Corps

Army New Zealand Veterinary Corps

Veterinary medicine

Veterinarians

War horses

Unpublished sources: Manuscripts, diaries and letters

New Zealand Veterinary Corps - Commendations (NZVA Archive 14-15) part of MS-Group-0907. New Zealand Veterinary Association: Records. [ca 1923-1997]

MacKenzie, Allan Alexander Penman, fl 1890s-1925: New Zealand Veterinary Corps, Featherston Military Camp PA7-49-17 A group photographs of the New Zealand Veterinary corps taken outdoors at the Featherston Military Camp in 1916

Papers Past:

There is very little published information on the New Zealand Veterinary Corps. Newspapers of the day published images and articles, including a photograph of “Otago section of the Blue Cross Ambulance (N.Z. Veterinary Corps) at Zeitoun Camp, Egypt” published in the Otago Witness, 22 December, 1915, p. 36 (Supplement), and articles such as N.Z. Veterinary Corps “No better work has been done” published in the Evening Post, 24 April 1919, p. 7, which describes the war work done by the New Zealand Veterinary Corps.

Archway:

Search terms to use on Archives New Zealand's Archway catalogue are:

First World War Veterinary

New Zealand Veterinary Corps

New Zealand Section Veterinary Hospital (provides the history of the Veterinary hospital)

New Zealand Section, Number 4 Veterinary Hospital (which will provide access to the War Diaries of the hospital from 1916-1919)

New Zealanders serving with other military groups

Agnes Bennett at the main hospital camp of the 7th Medical Unit of the Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service, at Ostrovo, Macedonia, Serbia, during World War I. Bennett, Agnes Elizabeth Lloyd, 1872-1960: Photographs. Ref: PAColl-6972-12-23
Agnes Bennett at the main hospital camp of the 7th Medical Unit of the Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service, at Ostrovo, Macedonia, Serbia, during World War I. Bennett, Agnes Elizabeth Lloyd, 1872-1960: Photographs. Ref: PAColl-6972-12-23

A number of New Zealanders joined overseas military groups. Information can be found in newspapers under articles such as “Nurses for Services going to the Mediterranean” published in the Dominion 19 May, 1915. This article reports that New Zealand nurses were in Samoa, the Australian Nursing Corps, Egypt and Malta.

Doctor Agnes E. L. Bennett, joined a military hospital in Cairo in 1915-1916, transferred to the no. 7 American Unit, the Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service, attached to the Serbian Army in 1916-1917. In 1918 Dr Bennett was at the British military hospital, Netley, Southampton, finally serving as Medical Officer on the troop ships Wiltshire and Pararoa, and the cargo ship Essex.

Volunteer Aid Detachments Service (VADs)

Matron Fanny Wilson and nursing staff at Walton-on-Thames Hospital, England. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918\. Ref: 1/2-014124-G
Matron Fanny Wilson and nursing staff at Walton-on-Thames Hospital, England. Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association :New Zealand official negatives, World War 1914-1918. Ref: 1/2-014124-G

Voluntary Aid Detachments were civilians who volunteered to work with the New Zealand Expeditionary Forces. They worked as nurses, nursing assistants, ambulance drivers, ward orderlies and clerks at military hospitals. Individual personnel files can be found at Archives New Zealand under 'New Zealand Defence Force, Personnel files'. The best way to access these records is to search under the person’s name on Archway. Many files have been digitised and may be downloaded.

In the photograph above the VAD’s are wearing a Red cross on the front of their pinafores.

Subject headings:

World War, 1914-1918 - Medical care

World War, 1914-1918-Military Nursing

Photographs:

Album recording life at Taumaru military hospital, Greta Hunter (1886-1978), Lowry Bay, Lower Hutt. Ref: PA1-o-778. Greta Ewen volunteered as a member of the nursing Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) at the military convalescent hospital set up at Lowry Bay in Sir Francis Bell's house "Taumaru".

Other institutions

Archives New Zealand’s catalogue called Archway includes records on: The New Zealand Medical Corps (NZMC); New Zealand Medical Corps Nursing Reserve; New Zealand Defence Force Personnel Files. Digitised medical records will be located within personnel files, where there is information on injuries, treatment and hospitals.

Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph database

National Army Museum in Waiouru, includes the Kippenberger Military Archive

Army Medical Services Museum, UK

Scarletfinders – including information on British military nurses

National Archives military nurses research guide

National Archives - British Army nurses’ service records 1914-1918

Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps Museum, Burnham Camp, Burnham, New Zealand, Mon-Fri 9am-4pm Or by appointment, email: HSSNZDF@xtra.co.nz

Acknowledgments

This guide is dedicated to all those who served in the New Zealand military medical services and their unfailing service to those they treated.

–Rita C. A. Havell, Research Services, ATL

Thanks to the following for their contributions:

Jay Buzenberg

Cormac F. Doyle, Maj (Reti’d) ARRC, QARANC

Gillian Headifen

Sean McMahon